cooking class

celebrations are my favorite and i love a great big 'ol party as much as the next gal...but small gatherings really do it for me. they allow for conversation and connection in a way that larger parties don't. i recently hosted a small gathering for a precious friend...ms. carrie {of cue the confetti}. we do A LOT of party throwing around here and we really wanted to do something different and special for her. so, my husband brian~aka the chef~taught a cooking class for us. it was deliciously delightful...
{all photos by izzi ray}
...so we knew who's was who's


recipe cards for each of us to write down our notes

beverages


the makings of our olive tapenade

brian showing carrie a garlic smashing technique

siracha HOT sauce, garlic and brown sugar
pork tenderloin being rolled in spices

nonfat, plain greek yogurt in the potatoes
smashed potatoes


                         



prosciutto wrapped  asparagus with melted mozzarella

plating

finished

chefs helpers




here are the approximate recipe's.... Brian doesn't really measure. the man is an artist and rarely makes any meal the same twice. so these are my best guesses.

prosciutto wrapped asparagus: 
asparagus
proscuitto
mozzarella

wrap 1 piece of prosciutto around 3 stalks of asparagus
cut mozzarella in circles and set one circle on top of each asparagus 'bouquet'
sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper
bake in oven at 400 degrees for @15-20 minutes

olive tapenade:
put into a food processor a cup or so of fresh basil leaves, the zest of one lemon, 5 large cloves of garlic, a cup or so of olives (pitted), salt and pepper. process all ingredients together, adding olive oil as you go until a paste consistency is reached.

smashed potatoes:
as many potatoes as you need for as many people as you'll be feeding (we had 10 people so we used @20 small golden potatoes)
bake the potatoes in a 425 degree oven for 1 hour
when they're done, slice in quarters and smash in a bowl, leaving skins on
add @ a cup of nonfat, plain greek yogurt (we use this instead of sour cream)
smash...
add milk to desired consistency
smash...
add salt and pepper to taste
smash...
add heat! either tabasco, your favorite salsa, or whatever your favorite hot sauce is. even if you don't think you're a spice-loving person...try it!!! just a little bit really brings out the flavors of the yummy smashers.

spiced pork tenderloin:
dry rub:
mix together equal parts salt, pepper, cinnamon, chili powder, ground coffee, cumin

coat your tenderloin with the dry rub
brown the meat in a hot cast iron skillet 2-3 minutes per side

glaze:
mix together @ a cup and a half of brown sugar, @ 10-15 cloves of garlic (minced) and @ 1-1 1/2 TBSP of tabasco (or your favorite HOT sauce)

apply to tenderloin in the skillet...it's like a paste, just let the heat melt it into the meat.

put skillet into already pre-heated oven (@400 degrees)
let cook for 8- 10 minutes. take it out and turn the meat. spoon the juices from the bottom of the pan onto the meat, then put the skillet back into the oven and cook until the meat's internal temperature is 140 degrees (...you'll need a meat thermometer for this)
since every oven is a little different, you'll have to check the meat every few minutes to see when it's reached the correct temp.

when the meat has reached the proper temp., remove the skillet from the oven, remove the meat from the skillet and put on a plate. scrape all the juices from the skillet onto the meat then loosely cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. i know...it' seems like a long time, and this is where i get impatient. but brian assures me that if you cut into it too soon, the juices escape rather than saturate the meat and make it tender.  so let it sit there for a few minutes, covered.

finally, slice it and place it on top of your delicious smashed potatoes.